Cast your mind back to 2007, if you will. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was one of the highest-grossing films of the year, Beyoncé was belting out ‘Irreplaceable’ and George W. Bush was President of the USA… and the smartphone universe would be forever changed by the introduction the iPhone.
So it begins
Upon its much-hyped release on January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs stated: “today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone”.
…and they definitely did!
Time magazine granted it the accolade of ‘Invention of the Year 2007’ and Apple has continued to evolve and surprise us with eight subsequent generations of iPhone since then.
How has the iPhone changed since its unsuspected inception? Let us reflect on the changes that Apple has bestowed upon the world which, from what we’re seeing with the current audio-related debacle of this current generation, hasn’t always been immediately understood and accepted as smart and sane creative decisions.
The very first iPhone came with a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Measures of battery life include items such as talk time, audio time and internet use (3G or Wi-Fi). Talk time and internet use have both increased quite slowly since 2007. The first generation of iPhones could provide 10-16 hours of talk time via 3G, whereas current talk time is up to 21 hours on 3G. Internet usage was limited to around the ten hour mark in the first generation of iPhones to double that with the iPhone 7. A more dramatic increase has been seen for audio time, from just under 25 hours in 2007 to a whopping 60 hours in 2016. The current iPhone claims it can last 16 days (yes DAYS!) on standby. Given the availability of portable and wireless charging devices, battery life is less of a concern than it was nine years ago, but is still an important decision when choosing a mobile phone. Interestingly, battery weight has decreased over time, adding to the lightness of the newer models.
While the iPhone’s handset thickness has decreased over the years (width of 11.6 mm to 7.3 mm), its camera resolution and image quality has gone from strength to strength. The original model featured a mere 2 megapixel (MPA) camera whereas the latest four iterations have been 6 times as impressive, boasting 12 MPA cameras, as well as featuring wide-angle and telephoto lenses and both optical (2x) and digital zoom (10x). The white balance of a day time shot is now more true to life than the cosy warm hue captured by the original iPhone camera, and the vibrancy and contrast are also vastly improved.
The feature which has possibly increased the most over time is the iPhone’s storage capacity. The original iPhone had miniscule storage options of 4, 8, or 16 GB. Increasingly important as we download more and more apps, music and files and capture a plethora of photographs and selfies with the high spec camera, you can now obtain an iPhone with an impressive 256 GB of storage capacity. Gone are the days of having to regularly uninstall unused apps and delete unwanted photos to make enough room to receive a multimedia text message! You can also choose numerous ‘smaller’ capacity options (64 and 128 GB) for the newest iPhone to save money.
The iPhone 7 Plus has the largest iPhone screen to date (16 cm x 8 cm) and boasts a 1920×1080-pixel screen resolution at 401 pixels per inch (ppi), whereas the original iPhone model had a mere 320×480 pixel resolution at 163 ppi. Screen resolution has stayed fairly constant over the few most recent iterations. However, total pixel count has increased exponentially from under 300,000 to the dizzying heights of over 2,000,000 pixels!
Although it may feel like we’ve reached a plateau, phones are still getting better and there are discoveries left to uncover in future iterations. It will be fascinating to see where Apple will take its iPhone over the next nine years and how unexpected it’ll be.
About the Author
Jack Turner, the author of this post, runs reviewconnection.co.uk, a product comparison blog and also loves sailing, writing and he’s a drummer in his spare time. He’s writing an encyclopedic history of heavy metal in Europe, so watch out for that.
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